Japanese women long for samurai men

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    Samurai Girls

    NTV’s “Zoom In Super” morning show takes on the “History Girl” (rekijo) boom that is hitting Japan (subbed in English):

    The AFP has a good article up about this trend:

    In testing times like these, “people tend to turn to strong symbolic figures on whom they can project their ideals,” said Hideki Nakagawa, a Nihon University sociology professor and an expert on pop culture.

    What started out as a trend among video game nerds erupted into a mainstream craze this year after young women latched onto it. Japanese media quickly found a label for them — “rekijo,” or female history geeks.

    In a society where market researchers recently identified a new male demographic as passive ‘herbivores’, “women seek ‘super carnivorous males’,” said Ichiya Nakamura, a media and pop culture researcher at Keio University.

    “The warlords were different from the cold-eyed, dispassionate Japanese men of today,” he said. “They stood out because of their strong personalities.”

    In a store dedicated to samurai books and paraphernalia, a 17-year-old female fan agreed wholeheartedly, gushing that the “warlords sacrificed themselves for justice and to protect the people.”

    Now, she scoffed, “politics purely serves the interests of politicians.”

    They seem to be obsessed with an unrealistic and idealized version of history, no doubt because it was presented to them in that way through TV dramas and video games. Still, it is good to see that historical sites are making more money from tourists.

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